Saturday, June 30, 2007

Let Me Eat Cake...

"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most, live the longest."

-Father Larry Lorenzoni

Yesterday was a great birthday. It really was. It has, however, been a very busy 3 days and I am officially tired. LOL. We started celebrating last Wednesday, with a trip to Half Moon Bay. Then we went out to claim my free dinner from Red Robin, and my lunch from Straw Hat Pizza, and then I got my hair done yesterday. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it was for me. I get tired easily sometimes, even in the warm summer months. Alan knew I was tired, so he gave me a choice of going out for a fancy/schmancy dinner last night, or staying home and either BBQing, or ordering dinner in. I opted for some Chinese take out. Alan picked it up on his way home from work. He got all my favorites. Crispy Lemon Chicken, Mushroom/Broccoli Beef, BBQ Pork Chow Mein, Pork Fried Rice, and Pork Ribs in Plum sauce. YUMMMMMMM. :) After dinner, we had some birthday cake, which I made myself. I LOVE to cook, and I had been wanting to do some serious baking, so I made myself something special and Elvis helped.

Devil's Food Cake, with fresh strawberry filling. My favorite cake is a Black Forest cake, but chocolate covered strawberries are my favorite decadent indulgence, so I thought it might be yummy as a cake. It was beyond delicious. Alan doesn't really like cake, can you believe it? LOL. But he had a piece of the cake with me, and he went back for seconds, so I think I did well. LOL. The strawberries
were so ripe and sweet. We got them when we were in Half Moon Bay a couple days ago, along with some peaches and apricots. I think tomorrow I will make some chocolate dipped fruit to have for dessert. I am also mulling around the idea of making a special ice cream cake for the 4th of July. We'll see. I am pretty sure we will be doing some BBQing, I have an awesome chicken recipe I want to try out. A nice dessert to go with dinner would be a nice touch. Oh my, I can't wait for the fresh veggies in the garden... ahhhh... life is good. :)

Scenes From A Birthday...

Devil's Food Cake with Fresh Strawberries

From Alan and Elvis: Paul McCartney's "Memory Almost Full" and Norah Jone's "Not Too Late." Both are fabulous CD's.

I decided to get two black, two white, two candy pink and two bright red bras. :) I knew you were on pins and needles about that one! ;)

Another gift from Alan... a balloon bouquet. Love the dragonfly. :)

"Carly's Strawberry Decadence Cake"
Berkeley, California
June 29, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's My 45th Birthday, And I Am Shopping For Boobuliar Reinforcements

"When I was younger, I could remember anything whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember anything but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all have to do it."

-Mark Twain

Today Is My Birthday...

Someone once asked me, "Carly, do you take your digital camera everywhere?" And I answered... "Yup." LOL. I take it to the doctor, all my doctors, I take it to the grocery store, I take it to my therapy appointments with Sarah, and yes, I take it clothes shopping with me, even if I am shopping for intimates. LOL. "Intimates!" What a strange thing to name the "Unmentionables" department. I thought calling it the "Unmentionables" department made it all so very clear, but calling it the "Intimates" department seems like it should have upscale porn in it. Hmm.

Anyway, one of the reasons I take my digital camera with me, when I go clothes shopping, is to see how the apparel looks if it were to appear in a picture. So I try on a blouse, or a pair of jeans, and then take a picture of myself in the dressing room mirror... just to see if the clothes, and the camera, really do add 5 lbs, or if the hem falls unfortunately, or even if the bustular darts point the wrong way. No more zippered bras for me. Trust me, it only took one, or three, instances of a clothing malfunction in a Starbuck's, aka "The Nipplepsy Incidents Of 2004" to turn this consumer into a Cautious-Reinforcement-Apparel-Purchaser, or C.R.A.P!

There is nothing like listening to your body, when it has something to say. This year my girls, aka my boobs, said "Carly, you really do need to get some new boob hammocks for us. A surge would be good. NOW!" So, It was either listen to the girls, or face their retreat... which wouldn't be good at all. They have been trying to get away from me as it is. It's ok though, they don't go far, when they go missing I know I can always find them bringing up the rear. :) So, it was off to Wal-Mart for me. LOL. I used to buy really expensive underthings, but then one day it occurred to me that Alan is usually the only one who sees them, so I decided to get one or two special things a year, and the rest of the time I would purchase the more affordable varieties at Target, Wal-Mart or online at the Hanes web site, but at Christmas time it's another story.

Every December I treat myself to something fabulous at Victoria's Secret. It makes me feel special. Wearing something fabulous, or maybe even a little naughty, underneath your outer clothing, can make you feel like a million bucks. You know? But for my birthday however, I will probably be feeling a little more like $3.98. ;)

Now, decisions, decisions, which one will I buy? Tune in this weekend to see which of these underthingyboobyslings, my girls decide on. :) Yes... I will provide pictures. :) By the way, if you are one of my lurkers, today would be a great day to say hello. Give me a shout... Just say "HI!" :) Or sing "Happy Birthday" to me. Come on, don't be shy. You know you want to. :) It's just me. :)

"Color Magic"
Half Moon Bay, California
June 27, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Lovely One

"Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man."

-Vladimir Nabokov

Yesterday, I found this lovely moth on the wall of my shed in the back yard. I was amazed at how it's iridescent wings glowed like glitter sprinkled on sand. I could have just stood in the same place starring at her all day. I had made other plans for the day, so I had to leave, but fortunately she was still there when I got home. After a little research at, I found out she is an Euchlaena obtusaria, although she also looks a lot like the Euchlaena Marginaria. Both are from the Geometridae family. I will have to do a little more research into them, because I was quite taken with this moth and I would like to learn more about it. I will be on the lookout for her and others like her for the rest of the summer. She is one more thing to love about a summer evenings. Who knows, maybe I will try setting up the tripod and doing some evening photography. :)While looking around tonight, for information about this moth, I came across an article about the vampire moth. Very strange and intriguing creature to be sure! I would really like to see one for myself... it is fascinating. :)

Skin-Piercing Vampire Moth Vants Your Blood

"The Lovely One"
Berkeley, California
June 27, 2007
10:00 AM

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Round Robin Challenge... Focus On The Details

It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."

-John Wooden

Tammie Jean, author of the blog, "Long Drives To Nowhere" has chosen "Focus On The Details" for our current challenge, which is wonderful, because lately I have been working a lot more with the macro settings on my digital camera, and I am noticing my photos in a whole new light. For one thing, I think by slowing down and getting in really close to my subjects, I am seeing things much more clearly. As I look at the above Daylily, I am most impressed by the tiny detailed lines, that give it it's own fingerprints. I never really thought about flowers as having fingerprints, but those little lines and curves are just that... it's own individuality. I have to admit, since I have been moving at a much slower pace this year, I am seeing a lot more beauty then I have in the past. Multi-tasking, running around, or in my case sometimes just plain old avoiding, can get lonely. I like taking the time to take a closer look, to see the soul of what I am photographing. :) God I love my camera. :)

Here are three other examples of focusing on the details...

Focusing on the details of the colors

Focusing on the details of shadows

Focusing on the details of the background

****Round Robin Reminder****

Did you know we have made some changes at the Round Robin Challenges? We will be beginning a new system, at the end of the summer, for how we choose the Round Robin Challenge topics. Now, instead of following the sidebar rotation of Robins, we will be asking each of you to submit ideas for future challenges. You can send in as many ideas as you like, and then Steven, Karen and I will choose the next challenge from your pool of ideas. We will try to keep as large a rotation as possible, but it will depend on how many of you send in your ideas. So take a look on the Round Robin sidebar of past challenges, put on your thinking caps, and send us those ideas and topics. I can't wait to find out what you come up with!

Be sure to visit the other participants for this challenge. Just click on the links below. Don't forget to drop by the Round Robin blog on Thursday, to find out the subject of our next challenge. :)


Linking List

1. Tammie Jean... Long Drives To Nowhere

2. Cosette... Birds of Venus

3. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

4. boliyou... Percolation

5. Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life

6. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pics

7. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

8. Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

9. Carly... Ellipsis

10. Janet... Fond of Photography

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Crowds

"When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded."

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Get a picture of a crowd or crowded event. Conventions, weddings, parties, cramped spaces - you know, anywhere there's lots of folks doing something.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Crowds you say? How about the crowds at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, playing in the warm California sun, and waiting for a concert on the beach? If you enjoy just sitting and watching a big crowd of people, this is definitely the place to go. I LOVE it there. Beach balls bouncing about, kids and their parents playing in the sand, sea birds flying around making a happy noise, a lovely view of the Walton Lighthouse, and a free concert. It just doesn't get any better then that! Ahhhh... Now that is the kind of crowd I like to get lost in. :)


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 8/11/06
John Waite Concert

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Watched Pot Never Sprouts

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace."

-May Sarton

TaaaDaaa! Ok, the garden is in place. We have lift off. Now... I wait. LOL. It took me forever to get it done, well a few more days then I had planned anyway, but I finally have all the heavy stuff done. The roses are awesome. They will probably go into the ground next year, but I still haven't made up my mind about that. The cat grass is coming along nicely, I planted that for Elvis. He loves his veggies almost as much as I do, but unfortunately not all green yummy things agree with him. The cat grass, will hopefully, fix that. According to Dr. "B" cats crave greens when their tummies get upset. Elvis has been feeling so odd, since the onset of his diabetes, so it made me feel good to do something especially for him. :) This will probably be the last entry I do featuring the garden, until late summer or early autumn. I have plans... so stay tuned. :)

This is a big week coming up. I have been getting all kinds of yumminess in the mail for my birthday. I signed up for every birthday club stuff I could find, and it has all come in at once. LOL. I will be eating good this week! LOL. Don't worry... I will take pictures, and report back. :) Today, is H.P's birthday. He is my best friend. He has really been there for me in the last 6 months. He is funny, and talented... OMG... he is so talented... but most of all... he is a good guy. :) I will be giving him a call a little later to sing happy birthday to him, which always makes him roll his eyes because I have a voice that can neuter cats two counties away, but it's our tradition. LOL. I don't know, maybe this year I will send a text also. We'll see. HAPPY BIRTHDAY H.P. YOU ROCK! ;)

Q. Do you ever sign up for the free birthday perks offered by different restaurants? If so, which are your favorite?

While you are pondering that deep question, enjoy the photos from the garden. :)

Purple Campanula

Pink Mini Rose

Yellow Mini Rose

Elvis... The Garden Gnome

Mini Pink/Yellow Rose

Edged Pink Mini Rose

Everything's Coming Up Cat's Grass

Alan's Veggie Garden... Upper Deck

Some people have scarecrows... we have Godzilla's.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Future Focus

"Have you ever observed a hummingbird moving in an aerial dance among the flowers... a living prismatic gem... it is a creature of such fairy-like loveliness as to mock all description."

-W. H. Hudson, Green Mansions

I got extremely lucky with this shot, this birdie was not at all interested in posing for me. LOL. I was sitting in my car, at the San Leandro Marina, just enjoying the heck out of a A&W Papa burger, and watching airplanes land at the nearby, Oakland Airport, when this little guy came by. :) This was the best shot out of about 10 or so that I took. I think it came out well, the sun was in a good spot to illuminate the colors of the hummingbird very nicely. I like photographing hummingbirds, they are a challenge to be sure. I should try to get back to the marina soon, lots and lots of critters moving about, plus the added fun of the airport runway which is very close to the far edge of the marina. Planes coming in from the east are really low... yikes... but it gives me a chance to work on my slight fear of them.

I decided to take an online class that was offered to me by the Disney Family Learning Center. It will focus on portrait photography. It is a very basic course, but every little bit helps. I am still considering taking a class in digital photography at Chabot College. They are offering the classes every quarter, it's just been a matter of getting my energy level back up and running to a high enough level to take on a class. Working on that this weekend, as I am using my time to get the last touches of the garden put into place.

I placed the roses and the others planters of cosmos, stock, butterfly flowers, poppies, and four-o-clocks where I want them. Alan helped me plant the assorted sunflowers against the back of the fence, so all that is left is to put a couple windsocks up, and it will pretty much be done. Now it's all up to the flowers to make their appearance before the end of the summer. I hope I did ok, I saw a huge black and yellow swallowtail flying hurriedly in and out of the yard today, I wish she could have stopped for a visit. I am hoping the new flowers will encourage them to come by for a visit... and then stay. :) That would make the autumn perfect!

San Leandro Marina
San Leandro, California
June 23, 2007